Meet past months’
photography competition winners
(Another stunning image by Paolo!!!)
Ciao! My name is Bryan Aptekar. I call Portland, Oregon (USA) home, where I am proud to be part of a group of dedicated professionals who take care of our local park system.
While I love what I do professionally, photography feeds my soul. I have had a camera in my hand since childhood, but I have only recently identified as a photographer. I have often said that photography is my excuse to travel. Though not entirely true, given exploring the world is as fundamental as breathing to me, what I appreciate about carrying my camera is the way it forces me to slow down, to look carefully, to pay closer attention to the world around me.
As teenager, I visited Venice with my high school class, where I purchased my first piece of art – an oil painting of the Venice skyline. I feel incredibly grateful to have been able to return to Venice this spring to spend the month of April as an emerging artist myself, through an artist residency program hosted by Art & Soul. It was during this time that I had the luxury to eat, drink, and explore my way around this magical place. Of course, I had my camera along to capture things as I see them. As I reflect on my time in Venice, what sticks with me most is its beauty, history, and resilience, as does the patience, hospitality, and ingenuity of the Venetian people making a life in such a unique place.
Have a look at the first monthly winners of the 3rd edition, open monthly until 24 September!
My name is Paolo Felletti Spadazzi, I was born in Padua, but I have been living in Venice for several years. I’m a retired engineer.
As a child, I used to draw, and as a kid, I started taking pictures. Venice was one of my first subjects.
I remember that I started in the ’60s, with a Kodak Instamatic. Once I was at the Lido and I wanted to photograph the sunset on the lagoon. Trying to get closer to the water as much as I could, I slid onto the steps of the bank, covered with algae, and my camera fell into the water. I was feeling desperate, but I tried to have it fixed at the shop. To my greatest surprise and joy when, about fifteen days later, the shopkeeper told me that Kodak had replaced my Instamatic for free with a new one. Even more than that…with a more recent model!
More than fifty years have passed since that day, and during these years, with ups and downs, I have always taken photographs. However, now that I’m retired, I can spend much more time on my passion. My return to photography has also been stimulated by a research I am developing, which leads me to compare the symbolism of the tarot with the various iconic elements of the city of Venice. I’d like to share this path with others…
Hi, my name is Mark Robinson and I live in Burnley, England. I have been lucky to travel to many countries for both work and leisure and I always have my camera with me. So I guess I would categorize myself as a travel photographer. But with a difference – I am always looking for the unusual. The standing joke in my family is that when everyone else is focused on capturing the fabulous view or the magnificent building, I am pointing my camera in the opposite direction, taking a photograph of a doorknob or an unusual window.
And my favourite place to visit and photograph? Well, that’s easy to answer – magnificent, beautiful Venice of course!
My wife and I have now been to Venice seven times. In spring, summer, and winter. Our last two visits have been to celebrate New Year. There is nothing quite so magical as to have your arms around the one you love whilst watching the fireworks explode above the Venetian lagoon.
We both enjoy getting lost in Venice as to walk without a map is to lose your way in a maze of left and right turnings. The stone bridges lead you into dark, twisting alleyways that fill you with anticipation and a romantic sense of being very close to something hidden and secret. And suddenly you find a special little ristorante where the fish is spectacularly good, and all washed down with a glass (or two) of prosecco.
Why does prosecco always taste so much more special in Venice?
My name is Gianmarco Donaggio. I was born and raised in Italy, and currently I am based in Oslo and active as a cinematographer. I see photography as a form of meditation, a way to merge my impressions with the world’s expressions. To photograph is to extract a subtle essence of life, which can be observed and investigated further. As a consequence, my photography practice is still analogical. I find it essential to shoot film as a method to capture my images, so I can let mystery be a part of the process.
“One day in Venezia” is my first participation in a photo contest, and so my exhibition debut in the world of still images. I am honored to exhibit my first photo in Venezia. The city is magical; a place to get lost, and once lost: to wonder.
Venezia to me is a source of pure curiosity and the perfect place to investigate and explore photography. The churches, the squares, the bars, don’t seem to have specific locations, but simply manifest themselves to the one looking for them. Should you not find them, you will surely find something unexpected and surprising; something better. As matter of fact, behind every corner of its ramification of canals, something beautiful is about to appear.
The city is more than that, with all it has to offer. It is holding up as one of the few places in Italy still keeping her head high above the decadence of modern times. To me, it seems to strongly affirm her majesty as a center for the arts, as well as a piece of art herself. Walking the streets of Venezia is to me like being on a canvas.
The picture was a present from the city to me, I was just there, ready to listen.
Hi, my name is Paul Andrews I’m a 59-year-old amateur photographer from Harwich, England. My photography journey started when I was loaned an Olympus Trip compact for a holiday as a 20year old and immediately became hooked. I then progressed onto an Olympus OM10 SLR film camera, joined my local photography club and read as many photo magazines as possible to try to improve my skills and knowledge. As I live on the coast Sea and landscapes have been my long-held passion, trying to get the best light where possible, out early with my trusty tripod and digital SLR. The beauty of photography is that there are many subjects you can choose and I have also spent time shooting on the streets of London looking for interesting people, backgrounds, and places. Again like landscapes no two days are ever the same and throw up different scenarios to reveal. I have been lucky enough to visit Venice twice out of season and have planned to visit again in March 2017 as I have totally fallen in love with the place. It excites me like nowhere else the moment I arrive and on my first visit I had my tripod out taking images with my suitcase next to me before I had even arrived at my hotel room such were the amazing views on offer. For me, Venice has it all and is so unique and mesmerizing that it continues to draw me back.
My name is Boris Dalpozzo, I am 37. I am a veterinary surgeon and I live and work in Bologna.
I met photography thanks to my mother who has been making up a beautiful family photo album for a long time that I continue to browse for hours even today. Despite this, I have always kept a
distances from cumbersome cameras, bags full of lenses and the myriad of sometimes intrusive shots typical of the digital age.
I became a real photography fan all of a sudden when during one holiday a friend put a Leica M3 in my hands. Needless to say, as soon as I returned I went straight to my first (and only …) camera. From that moment I discovered a way of photographing
different from what I was used to. A more intimate, personal, thoughtful, composed style, requiring only a few clicks to really appreciate the light and the waiting for the right moment.
This attitude taught me how to look with different eyes also through the lens of other tools like the
camera of my cell phone, which inevitably I still use.
Venice is wonderful for me. Surely it hides many beauties and details that escape to those who, like me, do not know it in depth. But I believe its architecture, the canals, the gondolas, the masks, the kisses, the smell of the sea and of the damp are not just common places. I believe they are what makes it unique. That’s why I chose this photo. The portrait of a moment in which everything rests except its untiring beauty.
I had never participated in a competition and I am happy and honored that this is my debut!
A brief note about the 2nd edition awards
Obviously, Italian photographers have some advantages in the contest, as they can visit Venice more often and take pictures at a different time to pick a special moment (see Zanetti’s photo). But … never say never.
Taking a good shot of Venice would require time and patience but tourists may always rush to the next scene. Don’t miss the real Venice when you are busy with taking selfies. We just would like to remind you that —— in Venice, there is Venice.
If you take a closer look at the award-winning images, you may guess it’s not been easy to select the winner out of such diverse subjects, styles, and genres. Proposing sub-themes for each month competition happens to be another disadvantage for travelers who do not have enough time to take the right picture in the sub-theme. In a great and interesting kaleidoscope, we often encountered dilemma when selecting the winner every month, especially at the end.
One of the “handicaps” of the “Sunday photographer” is the struggle to be taken seriously. People will think you are just lucky to have a good shot when you show them the picture you are particularly proud of. As a hobbyist, the perfect photo may go out “by mistake”, but it’s not always true!
Therefore, we did not consider solely single images for the awarded photographers: all the awarded (Lazareva, Wilmot, Rallo, Zanetti) had submitted more than one pic and we were able to appreciate them so it was not… just pure luck! We valued the style, the will, the commitment and the love for our city, and for life. Such as Lazareva and her work about the double, the mirror; Wilmot and her passion in defending Venice; Zanetti with his amused and amazed glance; Rallo with her black and white to portray a timeless childhood —— those pictures continue surprising us.
We must choose because it’s part of the game. Some people won but the others didn’t lose and we hope to get together with all of you to browse this kaleidoscope.
2nd edition’s (2016/2017) awarded pics!
September 2017’s winner is Giovanni Volpe.
Ciao, this is Giovanni Volpe. Architect and teacher, born in 1973, I discovered photography during the years of my Architecture studies. I have abandoned this passion for ten years, then in 2013 I attended two photography courses and workshops. I love traveling and discovering other cultures. I am fascinated by wildlife photography but also travel and street photography. I am Sicilian by origin (from Marsala) and I have been living in Tuscany for 15 years for my work.I am lucky to know and portrait two such beautiful lands. I do not feel like a photographer, but like “a passionate amateur who day by day, tries to communicate pleasant emotions to his photos’ viewers”.
In AUGUST 2017: one winner and a special mention!!
Luca De Riz (Italy, winner) and Alexandre Neves (Portugal, special mention)
Ciao, this is Luca De Riz. I am an IT professor with a passion for photography.
Many years ago the old, analogic reflex Konica of a friend’s, Bruno, lit a curiosity that very soon got into a great passion for me.
I started reading books and magazines, trying to improve my technique. The Grado lagoon and its seagulls were my first training ground.
Now my reflex camera follows me everywhere. Shooting pics stimulates my desire to catch the moment to remember.
I like seeking for details, hidden places, light, or the gestures of people that I happen to meet in the streets. Venice is always an infinite source of inspiration.
Thank you for giving me the chance to share my passion.
For JULY 2017 we had 2 winners ex-aequo:
Tatiana LAZAREVA from RUSSIA and Massimo CAMPIOLI from Italy
“Ciao, my name is Massimo Campioli. I live in Modena where I work as a surveyor. I have been to Venice many times during the Carnival, the Biennale or just to enjoy the beauty of the city, unfortunately always only for one day at a time, from morning to evening.
This year I have been able to crown a dream that I had in my drawer: to celebrate my birthday in Venice. For the occasion, with my wife I stayed a few days, especially to discover the less known and less crowded corners.
I have always liked to photograph: as a teenager with my friends I was “the one with the camera” to document all the journeys and happy moments spent together. Only six years ago I made the big leap, buying a reflex and I was more and more interested in amateur photography. I attended some photography courses, attended several competitions and also collected some personal satisfaction. I love sharing with other photo enthusiasts; a couple of years ago I joined a photoclub in my city. Photography remains for me a moment of evasion that gives me great happiness”.
“Ciao, this is Tatiana Lazareva. My interest in photography has grown into a serious passion or even. I travel quite a lot and I always have my camera on me. I love minimalism, clean lines and space in my pictures. I like finding minimal frames in the environment with lots of colors and details around us. There is beauty in everything, it is around and inside of each of us. I live in Siberia where the winter lasts long. Sometimes it is very cold and not so comfortable, but snow is a minimalist’s dream, and it shows us all places in a new light by hiding some details under the snow. I love Venice. I have been there a lot of times, but I always want to come back right after departing. Venice is always beautiful, amazing and inspiring. In August 2016 I bought a photo print at a flea market, showing winter in Venice, San Marco square covered with snow and three people walking. Two of them look cold, wearing heavy coats and hats and, honestly, don’t look happy; the third person instead is absolutely happy, he is stretching his arms and definitely enjoying the snow. Since I’ve seen this picture, I started to dream visiting snowy Venice. I bought tickets and came to Venice in January 2017 – the month, when there was snow. But I was late, just a couple of days! Now I still have my dream, but in January in Venice I found the information about One Day in Venezia competition. I like all of winners’ pictures and I’m so glad that now it is a part of beautiful winners’ gallery. And hope I’ll be back to this amazing city to see its wonderful streets, canals, and light again.”
Luca Massarotto is June’s winner!
As May’s winner, we chose a black and white photo shot in St.Mark’s Square some years ago by Piera Trento, who lets us know some interesting details.
“Hi, I’m Piera, I am a teacher and I’ve been knowing Venice since a lifetime. I used to visit since a very young age, not as a tourist but as passionate. Of photography, of theater, of music. I arrived by train, after work, with friends. And returned home late at night.
We used to go the Malibran and the Goldoni theatres, to watch Lindsay Kemp, for Carolyn Carlson, Pina Bausch, Valentina Cortese, Carla Fracci … Venice was not only a magnificent city, it was a place of culture, ideas.
I have always loved b&w photography, it is essential. I’ve always “studied” the images in books. From a magazine, I learned about the infrared photographic technique and I fell in love with it. For a decade I used exclusively the Infrared HS by Kodak, I developed films and printed my photos personally. Until their production stopped as there was no big demand … and they all went digital.
I do use digital cameras, but I still use films thanks to an excellent b&w printer, in Turin.
I was fortunate enough to be part of the Circolo Città di Thiene for decades (with which I celebrated the 40 years of activity in 2014) with two friends: Bruno, an internationally renowned photographer, and Giuseppe, excellent b&w specialist. Like true masters, they are always helpful and never jealous of their art. I won contests, published photos, participated in exhibitions. Some of my pictures, winners of a competition about walled cities, were exhibited at Tendo, Japan.
I started in a strange way. My sister was graduating and her thesis referred to the various stages of motion development in the child. She asked me to help her by photographing her kid, nowadays 43-year-old. I got a Kodak Instamatic, and Dad gave me a Polaroid which I still have. ”
Some notes about past months’ awarded pics in this edition
April’s winner of the photocontest is Mirka Rallo (children playing in Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio in the city center of Venice)
Mirka Rallo (Mestre), an employee, is an art lover since her childhood. I approached the world of photography four years ago when I bought my first reflex; I attended a basic and an advanced course. Initially, there was only my desire to learn how to use a camera and to acquire the technique needed to take a good photo. By doing this, my passion broke out so much that I started attending more workshops and courses, reading photographic books and magazines daily, and making the reflex an inseparable companion. I have been working for two years for the creation of a magazine of stories and photographs on issuu. I love both shooting photos of the lagoon scenery and the street genre, documenting everyday life, finding genuine smiles among people, and curious attitudes; my aim is to tell different, unique stories set out especially in Venice, a city that I love very much, and that I consider an extraordinary “training gym for shooting”. Looking through the lens, for me, is a way out from the world surrounding me, and entering a world in itself, where emotions, colors, and spaces are amplified, instinctively capturing the still images of life. Photography is a way to express myself, and in my photographs I always try to tell a story, launch a message, transmit an emotion, that same emotion that photography always gives me.“.
Keeping in mind this is a contest for amateur photographers, thumbs up for Anna Szmuda (Poland) who is the March 2017 photo competition winner.
We have viewed many evocative shots. Going for originality… and improvements…
I used to feel overwhelmed, some time ago. I was worried about many things when shooting a picture. Since I visited Venice, something in me changed irreversibly. I have become fully aware of what I see, feel, taste, smell and hear. Every minute of life in Venice becomes a celebration, so calming and positive.
Furthermore, I have always been interested in art and really liked Italian Renaissance paintings. But after seeing, for example, Tintoretto’s masterpieces in Scuola Grande di San Rocco or in Gallerie dell’Accademia, I started to feed myself on art.
Being in Venice during Carnival has been also an unforgettable experience. When I was taking the awarded photography, I was laying down on the ground in order to capture a good shot, with fluttering childish fairy tale’s heart.
February 2017 had 2 ex aequo winners and a special mention. It’s been quite hard because of the variety of subjects and techniques. But at last, we found some common criteria in selecting the finalist photos!
Among the suggested sub-themes there was “Venice and its Masks” because of the Carnival of Venice held in the same period. In the end, we selected a “classic” shot for a different subject. And then, two Carnival photos: one quite technically questionable, the other well set up and well expressed, both of which showing what’s “behind the mask”, in their own way.
In their own words
Snowing in Venice. Magic, playful, unbelievable, and… so black & white. Luca Massarotto, ex-aequo winner in February 2017 Photo contest.
“I set up great events as my profession, and I often work for cinema and advertising.
Spending time in the entertainment industry educated me to watch with more attention the different things and people surrounding me.
Photography has always be a greatest passion for me, and lately I have been able to practice it more regularly, as a member of the “Marco Polo” photoclub.
Living in Venice is continuously stimulating me in finding the most various siuation and people. My favorite type of photography is the “street-photography”.
In this other shot, here above, a “very unlikely Venetian” family of the 18th century is seated at a Cafè in St.Mark’s Square, visibly enjoying Carnival at its best. Tourism flows have changed, and Venezia is attracting more and more Oriental visitors. Venice and its tourists are so exotic to each other! Bravo to Marco Cendret, who did not miss the occasion: ex-aequo photo competition winner for March 2017.
What is there under the Carnival mask? Pure happiness, at any age, as far as we see in Luca Lamanna‘s photo. Luca (a finalist in the first edition) is also a lover of street photography. A special mention for him this time.
Ciao from Katia Morichetti. I have been taking photos since about six years ago, I have won some prizes, and exhibited some of my pictures. I have worked for the theatre, I have been so lucky to meet the photographers I love, and study with them. I started photography because my father used to take terrible family photos, “cutting all heads”. In un a website about photo contests I read of “One Day In Venezia” and I thought I had the right photo, shot behind the house of a friend of mine, in the Castello area. I have a photo challenge going on with Venice: never getting gondolas, masks, pigeons, and canals into my pictures. I am seeking for the unseen Venice, for the beauty of a city that could even not be Venice, but gorgeous like only Venice can be. It is so interesting to me. I have ever agred with those saying “Venezia is nice but I am not sure I would live there”. I would, with pleasure. I like Venice, I like its silence at night, I like its quietness in spite of the myriad of tourists. I never know where I am heading exactly when I walk around, because Venice’s fish-like map is disorienting me every time, but it’s alright. All things considered, why should I know where I am exactly? I am ok with the yellow road signs: Alla ferrovia, Per San Marco, All’Accademia, but very often I disregard them, because you can’t fight the labyrinth, you just get lost into it.
Ciao, this is Maurizio Zanetti… And I love Venice of that blind and passionate love that only sees the best in his beloved, and denies any obstacle and problem that is making Venice a very complicated city to live in: from the high tide to the hordes of tourists invading it daily, or the awful stands with made in China junk souvenirs, or the pizzerie, fast food, and absurd takeaway restaurants parade. I’m in love with her since the Seventies, when I was an Architecture student at IUAV living in Calle della Laca; my long solitary evening walks were aimed to admire calli and campielli without the tourist choreography. I love Venice since the first Carnevale dei Teatri, (1980), when director Maurizio Scaparro created an extraordinary event throughout the town that I took pictures of, day and night, in campi and theatres. I love it for the Venice Film Festival, the Architecture Biennale, the Visual Arts Biennale, for all that I had the chance to see and take photos of, in years. But above all, I love Venice for the smallest details that I discover in every walk, images, perfumes, and smells. Hardly a year goes by without at least a couple of “pilgrimages” in my beloved Venezia. Some time with a specific objective (an art show, a monument, a church or museum), or more often in a random tour, getting lost in order to find myself again, seeking for nothing as we have already found everything. Since some years ago, I used to carry a reflex camera with me; I had films, and later on, the digital memory card was born. When in the end I got a “mobile phone taking pictures” I switched to it. Since six years ago, iPhone and the Hipstamatic app have become my tools for remembering places and emotions, of taking quick notes with photos. A “trip to Venice” for me results in hundreds of pics. The ones that still move me after one week, are the ones that I post on my FLICKR, FB, Instagram accounts, or competitions. “Venezia Rivelata”, the fancy project by Alberto Toso Fei and Elena Tagliapietra, ended up in St Mark’s Square on 20 September 2015. I decided to live and document the experience using just my iPhone, rediscovering the excitement of the pure, simple, close-up click. The output of an afternoon’s preparatory work was to be admired from above, and professional photographers were waiting on top of St.Mark’s belltower with their super equipment, ready for their final shots. I stayed in the Square, my (low battery) smartphone in my hands, but a childish excitement in front of those lights lit towards the darkening sky.
Warmest Greetings!My name is Cleve Schneider. I was raised in Idaho, and have lived in California and now in Dallas Texas. I enjoy taking pictures to record memories of my travels both domestically and abroad. My passion for photography was inherited from my grandfather, who would put on mesmerizing slide shows of his travels in Mexico and Hawaii when I was young.Decades after his passing, I am always awestruck by the changes and the memories that he captured when I visit places he photographed and shared with me. I take numerous trips through the National Parks in the U.S. to photograph nature.I am always challenged with getting the right shot at the right time of day, and have been known to backtrack a day on vacation because the light or the weather was not right on my first attempt. When I travel in Europe, it is the cities that I find most interesting. So much history and beauty in such compact areas. What makes Venice my favorite city are the endless panoramas and vignettes alike.Every time I return, I am presented with new possibilities to get an even better shot than the last time, or to discover something that I have not seen before. I never tire of visiting Venice, or enjoying a quiet stroll early in the morning or late in the evening, which are my favorite times to capture the true beauty of the city. The more Venice becomes another hopping off spot for day trippers, the more difficult it becomes to get those perfect shots. But that does not dampen my enthusiasm completely. I enjoy viewing others photographs of Venice, and how they captured the essence of the city in a way that I may have missed. I always look forward to returning to Venice to renew bonds and friendships with those I have encountered there through the years.Thank you so much for recognizing my photo and allowing me to share my love of Venice.
Thank you, Cleve for sharing your story and feelings with us!
Grand Prize Year 2016 + March 2016 Winner Annik Susemihl (Germany)
wins: a “week-end in Venice Italy” and trip for 2,
a solo show at the Giudecca 795 Art Gallery;
the hi quality print of her winning photo and participation to the finalists’ group show.
An unusual homage to Venice and its people: hands, work, experience.
Paola Volpe (I) e Rosemary Wilmot (UK) are 2nd and 3rd place.
Special Prize Year 2016: Ettore Umberto Chernetich (Italy)
A weird perspective tricking the eye, with the (upside down) acqua alta catwalks “lifting” Venice and the Zattere.
Who will be the next contest winner? it could be you!
Don’t be shy 🙂 Take the chance. Select your best shots of Venice and enter the contest!